47 young people celebrate receiving Gaisce Gold Awards from President Michael D Higgins

Awardees clocked up over 10,000 hours in completing personal, community and physical challenges
The Patron of Gaisce, President Michael D Higgins, today presented 47 young people from across the island of Ireland with Gaisce Gold Awards.
The President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina attended a special Gaisce Gold Award presentation ceremony at Dublin Castle today, meeting with Awardees and their families. Former Rose of Tralee and Gaisce Bronze award holder Maria Walsh, was MC for the ceremony. 
On the course of their Gaisce challenges, the 47 Awardees contributed over 10,000 hours to helping their communities, developing skills and achieving personal goals. 
Throughout their Gaisce challenges, the Gold Awardees embarked on adventures all across the island – from walks along the Munster Way to hiking the Mourne Mountains in County Down. Some Awardees travelled further afield to Malta, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand and Japan, on community initiatives and adventure trips.
Speaking at the Gold Award Presentation ceremony, John Concannon, Chairman of Gaisce – The President’s Award said “The Gaisce Gold Award challenge is not an easy one – it demands motivation, determination and focus over the course of weeks, months and in many cases, years. I would like to congratulate all of the Gold Award recipients today on completing the Gaisce Gold Challenge.”
Yvonne McKenna, Chief Executive of Gaisce – The President’s Award said “the 47 young people we celebrate today have made a huge impact by volunteering with a host of charities and community groups across Ireland – from Irish Girl Guides and St Vincent de Paul, to Oxfam and Special Olympics. In their pursuits, they have made Ireland a better place for a great many people.”
Yvonne continued “as we mark the end of a milestone year for Gaisce – The President’s Award, our 30th Anniversary, we look forward to our next 30 years and more, to growing and developing the Gaisce Award programme to ensure that every young person has the access and opportunity to take part in the Gaisce programme.”
The Gaisce Gold Awardees successfully completed completed five challenge areas for 52 weeks or more – developing a personal skill, volunteering in their community and participating in physical activity. The Awardees also embarked on a five-day outdoor adventure journey and a weeklong residential project as part of their Gaisce Award challenge. 
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